We get multiple emails a day asking about Jessica Alba’s line of baby and household products, The Honest Company, whose mission is “to reduce the ubiquitous presence of toxic chemicals in our our natural environment, man-made environments, and our personal environments.”
It seems that Gimme the Good Stuff readers are all dying to know: Is The Honest Company truly good stuff?
I’d feel comfortable using most of the products in the Honest line (and give my private clients the green light on the diapers, which people seem to particularly love), but unfortunately there are a couple that are Sneaky: namely, the hand wash and the dish soap. Honest Auto Dishwasher Gel and Honest Laundry Detergent are questionable as they have undisclosed ingredients (see below).
I think Jessica Alba was coming from a sincere place when she created this company, and the website is more or less transparent, with a few vexing exceptions (see below).
Some people might not like the following:
- The diapers contain SAP (less than conventional brands, however).
- Some Honest products contain the preservative sodium benzoate.
- Honest products are not 100% natural–they all contain a variety of synthetics, although for the most part these are synthetics that seem to be safe.
- Some ingredients don’t have any safety data available (sodium lauroyl oat amino acid, for instance).
- SNEAKY: Honest Hand Wash contains phenoxyethanol. This isn’t the very worst ingredient, but not the Good Stuff. Honest Dish Soap contains cocamidopropyl betaine, phenoxyethanol, and methylisothiazolinone.
- MAYBE SNEAKY: Honest Laundry Detergent contains “100% biodegradable anionic coconut kernel-oil based surfactant” and the Honest Auto Dishwasher Gel contains “biodegradable low foam surfactant.” No one at the company can tell us any more detail about what these ingredients are, other than that they are “corn-based.” We’ve called several times.
Bottom Line: This stuff is much better than anything conventional you will buy, and stacks up well against most natural brands. Avoid the dish soap and hand wash.
Oh, and here are our picks for:
- Hand Soap: Sonett or Eco-Me
- Dish Soap: Sonett
- Dishwasher Detergent: Seventh Generation Powder (avoid the gel)
- Laundry Detergent: Sonett (liquid) or Tandi’s Naturals (powder)